Of all the sectors in the South West’s economy there can be few arguments that Tourism and Leisure (“T&L”) has been one of the most affected by the current pandemic. This is a sector that exists purely to service our need for travel and recreation – the very things that the shutdown has targeted. Whilst a few pubs are offering food deliveries and some hotels are open for key workers, the entire sector is now effectively closed and the rumours about when it may re-open multiply negatively and daily.
The government updated its guidance notice on the SEISG on 1 May 2020 and again on the 4th May to clarify how the grant process will work. They have now confirmed that they will begin notifying all those individuals it believes qualify from today (4th May), with the aim being that claims can be filed from 13th May with money being paid from 25th May or within 6 working days. This is ahead of the originally planned timetable.
Over the last week and the weekend the government has announced some additional support for businesses.
On 1 May the Chancellor sent a guidance letter to all lenders supporting the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme, which goes live on 4 May 2020. The main points of clarification were;
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the South West’s dairy farmers harder than anticipated.
At the start of this unprecedented health and financial crisis, many people thought that the farming industry would be, in the main, insulated from major market upheaval. However, as the situation continues to unfold, many dairy farmers are facing significant challenges. These stem from a number of factors, including a significant reduction in demand for milk at a time of year when production is at its highest.
Thomas Westcott client Netcraft has been awarded a double Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the highest UK Government awards for British business. They are awarded for outstanding achievement in four categories: International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).
This afternoon (Monday 27 April) the Chancellor has announced that small businesses will get guaranteed access to loans of up to £50,000 with 24 hours of making an application. The move is to fill a void where many of the smallest businesses have struggled to or are unable to access loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”).
Many charities have been deeply impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus crisis. The impact on individual charities has varied from charity to charity depending on their financial position before the crisis hit and also the sector in which they operate. Earlier in the month the government announced support for frontline charities providing vital services and helping vulnerable people which will be a lifeline to many charities, these measures were outlined in our previous blog article.
As the payment date in respect of VAT Returns for the quarter to 31 March is fast approaching, please do remember that if you decide that you want to defer payment of this liability, whilst you do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your VAT payment, if this is normally paid by Direct Debit you must cancel the Direct Debit arrangement as soon as possible. If it is not cancelled the VAT due will be automatically collected in the normal way.
On the 20th April two new funds, with the headline of up to £1.25billion of financial support to help innovative firms and in particular SMEs, were announced. Reading into the detail though you find that £250million is to come from private investors and £200million from funding that was already in place, but would simply be accelerated.
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